When the indie rock group Faux in Love went into the Guilford Sound studio in Guilford, Vermont, to record its latest record, drummer Bruce Black decided to bring this vintage, late-1960s Sonor Swinger setup. According to Black, and confirmed to MD by Sonor artist relations manager Thomas Barth, the entry-level Swinger was constructed from the same German beech that defined the company’s higher-end sets during the ’60s. Black explains how the beech produced a smooth, controlled sound in the studio. “The Sonor kit had the warmest, purest tone,” he says. “It lacked the punch and cut of some other kits, partially because I use a medium tuning. But it’s almost as if the Sonor could EQ itself—it gives you a pure quality without any overtones.”

Black credits the cost-saving plastic lugs for the drums’ distinctive tone. “Shockingly, the lugs on these drums are intact and still in good working order,” he explains. “I’ve always seen the lugs as a potential liability, but they’re also a huge asset in terms of tone and sound. They’re a mere fraction of the weight of steel or chrome lugs, and I feel that they allow these shells to really resonate.”

While recording with Faux in Love, Black rounded out the setup with a DW 5.5×14 Bell Brass snare, a custom-made walnut and zebrawood solid-shell block snare, and a variety of Zildjian, Sabian, Dream, and Wuhan cymbals. “When you play the right gear for the gig, it really helps to capture the right vibe and totally affects the way a cat plays,” the drummer says. “During this entire recording session, I felt like James Gadson—I was constantly cheesing and just thrilled to be making music and playing the drums.”


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